WAILUKU – The Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture and Recreation Committee will meet this Friday, March 14, at 1:30 p.m. to consider a bill to ban tobacco use and products in county parks, including beaches, and a resolution relating to roadside stands and farmers’ markets, Committee Chair Don Guzman announced today.
The proposed tobacco ban is in response to the countywide cleanup effort called “Butts Off Our Beaches,” said Guzman, who introduced the bill. Volunteer high school students on Jan. 12 gathered 14,000 cigarette butts on beaches from Hana to Kaanapali.
A second cleanup effort at Keopuolani Park on March 5 resulted in more than 1,500 cigarette butts collected in just one hour.
“The use of tobacco products at our beaches pollutes the environment and harms the health of residents and visitors,” Guzman said. “I applaud the efforts of the volunteers, and I hope their efforts are rewarded.”
The bill would also prohibit the use of electronic smoking devices, or e-cigarettes, at county parks and recreational facilities.
Guzman’s committee will also consider a resolution that would refer a proposed bill to the Lanai, Maui and Molokai planning commissions to allow for the sale of all Hawaii-grown products at roadside stands and farmers’ markets without the need for a special use permit. The bill would also exempt agricultural producers from registering with the county existing structures with floor areas of less than 300 feet.
“The bill takes into account the needs of the agriculture community and the Department of Planning by effectively balancing necessary regulation with the farmers’ right to operate commercial agricultural structures, such as roadside stands and farmers’ markets,” Guzman said.
The meeting will be held in the Council Chamber on the 8th floor of the Kalana O Maui building, 200 S. High St. in Wailuku. Testimony may be submitted in person or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org . The meeting agenda can be viewed online at www.mauicounty.us/committees/ear .